So you are able to work from the comfort of your own home… CONGRATULATIONS! Many people are on a quest to take advantage of such an opportunity and quite frankly, it can get hard to find ways to make working at home work for you and your family. Although you will get to spend more time with your kids, they can also begin to hinder your work at home efforts if you are not organized with a schedule or routine. Here are some suggestions on how to balance the needs of your kids with the needs of your business.
*Prioritize and schedule– Obviously, your children are your priority [I hope]. Set some sort of daily schedule that you can follow to maximize your time. Handle your kids first, then break off into different projects. Split your work up by making a to-do list and see what you can tackle while your children play. Save the rest for nap time or while the kids are at school. Communicate to your children that there is a time for work and a time for play. Be sure your kids understand this and respect your work hours and work space.
*Organize your work space– Staying organized will save you time. Be sure to create a system that works for you. Keeping a strict filing system, clearing personal clutter, and effectively utilizing your space can make a world of a difference!
*Designate a “MOMS WORKSPACE” only area– Be sure that your children understand that your office is off limits to them. For older kids, you may be able to close the door or put a sign on the door during your work hours. You can even put the kids to work and have them help you with easy tasks, such as filing, shredding, etc. For younger kids, make an area in your office or somewhere close by where you can keep an eye on them. A good idea would be to establish a play area for your child. Make a kids activity station and have it stocked and ready with a new activity daily.
*Take a lunch break with the kids– Everyone needs a break! Some moms rush to feed the kids, and then get straight back to work. STOP! Take a break! Eat lunch with your children. Have them help you make lunch. If it’s in your budget, take the kids out on a little field trip to lunch. This can be fun, providing quality time with your kids and giving you a refreshed feeling. A plus: after lunch is usually nap time!
*Take advantage of nap time– Schedule most of your important and tedious tasks during your kids’ naptime. This quiet time is perfect for making noise-free phone calls, crunching numbers, and finalizing those writing assignments or reports that require detailed analysis. Don’t be afraid to ask for help- If you are feeling overwhelmed, ask grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and neighbors to keep an eye on the kids every now and again. Maybe you can enlist a friend who has children to swap days with the kids during the week. This can provide a much needed break for the both of you. If these are not options, try looking into a part time preschool.